NEW Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has written an open letter thanking staff and fans at former club Swansea City.
The Northern Irishman, who was officially appointed Reds boss last Friday, says the opportunity to take over at Anfield was too good to turn down.
“The chance to manage one of the world’s great footballing institutions doesn’t come around very often in a manager’s life and, after two approaches, I have decided to take up the professional challenge,” he wrote in his letter, published by the South Wales Evening Post.
“Before doing so I wanted to leave you my wholehearted thanks and gratitude for a truly memorable period of my life.
“My story at Swansea City began nearly two years ago and my mission above anything else was very clear: to inspire the city.
“My aim for a legacy was simply to have made Swansea City Football Club an attacking and creative team who were enjoyable to watch, and to make the people of Swansea proud of their great club, city and nation.
“In the years ahead, you, the most important people at the club, will decide if I achieved those dreams, but the journey for me has been one I will never forget.
“We created history together to become the first Welsh club in the Premier League, and defied all the odds at the same time, and there is no doubt the club will continue to flourish in the coming years.”
Rodgers praised Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins and the club’s supporters’ trust. The 39-year-old also thanked staff at his daughter’s school and had a grateful word for the journalists he left behind.
“I want to thank the board of Swansea City for their belief and support and in particular the chairman, Huw Jenkins,” he added.
“Our working and personal relationship has become strong over the last two years and I’m sad to be leaving such a good man and friend, but I’m also happy knowing that the future of Swansea City couldn’t be in better hands.
“The supporters’ trust have really opened my eyes to how a successful club can function and I have no doubts your great work will be replicated throughout football in the coming years.
“I want to thank the media in Wales for the respectful way they have gone about their job. In particular to the South Wales Evening Post, who have been sensitive to the personal issues I have had in my social life.
“The players at Swansea I will thank individually, but to them I hope I have helped you become better players and people because you have certainly done that for me.
“And, finally, to the Jack Army. I’m proud to have been your manager and feel truly blessed for the support you have given me on and off the field.
“I leave knowing I couldn’t have given any more to help your great club succeed.
“Swansea will live in my heart for the rest of my life and one day I would love to return to this great club and city.”